Can you be fired due to work restrictions?

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Can you be fired due to work restrictions?

My son works for the largest retail / grocery chain in the world and is a college student. He works in the meat department and helps in the deli when needed. He has gotten severe eczema from working in the deli and has a doctor note saying he can’t work in that deli. He can still work in the meat department or other areas of the store. They threatened to fire him. Can they do this?

Asked on February 4, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they may most likely fire him.

A business generally does not need to transfer a person to a different department or job within the business, if he cannot do the one that he was hired for; while the law does require  "reasonable accomodations" for workers with disabilities (and note: it is not necessarily the case that eczema would qualify as a "disability"), a "reasonable accomodation" is some change to the existing job, or some assistive technology, which is neither too expensive nor too disruptive. A reasonable accomodation does not require a transfer to a different position, especially if there would be no current opening or need that position--the business does not need to create a new job for an employee if he can't do his old job.


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